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Monday, March 16, 2015: McQuaid, Skaneateles win hockey titles

   Leading off today: McQuaid scored just 29 seconds into the game and went on to roll past Baldwinsville 6-2 for the NYSPHSAA boys Division I hockey championship Sunday in Utica.

   The Knights rang two more shots off the post and had another goal disallowed in the first two minutes, forcing Bees coach Mark Lloyd to use a timeout to regroup.

   McQuaid registered the first 11 shots on goal of the game but still skated out of the first period with just the 1-0 lead. "It was only 1-0 and you get scared because you think this might not end up our way," Knights senior Campbell told the Democrat and Chronicle. "We came out on a mission in the second period."

   McQuaid scored four minutes into the second period, and then the Bees collapsed during a four-minute power play by allowing short-handed goals from Jack Dugan and Christian Leonardi for a 4-0 lead.

   "They are just at a different level," Lloyd told Syracuse.com. "They're bigger, faster, stronger. It's hard to compete with a team like that."

   In the Division II championship, Skaneateles scored three goals in a five-minute span in the second period to erase a 2-0 deficit and rolled past Williamsville East 5-2 for the school's first state crown since 1989.

   "These guys made my job a piece of cake," Lakers coach Mitch Major said. "As you can see the score didn't matter and that's the mark of a true championship team."

   Skaneateles outshot the Flames 16-4 during the second period. The key moment of the contest may have come with the Lakers down 2-1 and on their first power play of the game. Defenseman Owen Kuhns fired from the blue line and Flames goalie Max Battistoni batted the shot to his right with the blocker glove. Reggie Buell lunged at the puck and swatted it from waist level into the back of the net.

   "I always practice my hand-eye in practice and I get a lot of deflections," Buell said.

   Ray Falso scored his second goal three minutes later and Skaneateles never looked back.

   Just in time: Caught in traffic on the Whitestone Bridge, Christ the King junior sensation Rawle Alkins arrived at the CHSAA Class AA boys basketball final at Fordham University just minutes before tipoff vs. Xaverian.

   His time was good and the performance was better. Alkins lead Christ the King to a 59-56 win over the Clippers with 21 points, presenting the Royals with their third straight championship. The CHSAA's third three-time champ in 88 years will bid for a third straight Federation championship in Albany in two weeks.

   With the game tied 2-2 when he entered 1:14 into the first quarter, Alkins scored on a short jumper on his first possession but didn't score again for the rest of the quarter. He added seven points in the second quarter.

   "I was going crazy," Alkins told The Daily News. "This could've potentially been my last high school basketball game, and I was thinking, 'I could be late to my last basketball game?' I ran here from the entrance and got dressed in the car, but traffic at exit 4B was crazy."

   Xaverian moved out to a 34-29 lead early in the second half, but the Royals went on a 15-2 run, taking the lead on an Alkins 3-pointer to cap the third quarter.

   Sunday's win completed a weekend sweep for Christ the King. A day earlier, the Lady Royals made it four straight wins over Archbishop Molloy this winter with a 62-55 triumph. Junior guard Sydney Zambrotta tallied 32 points as CK won its first CHSAA state title since 2010.

   PSAL progress: Springfield Gardens eeked out a 58-56 win over Bedford Academy in the PSAL boys 'A' semis Sunday. Daniel Kisson drove to the basket for a layup in the final seconds for the winning bucket.

  

  • 2015 NYSPHSAA boys basketball brackets
  • 2015 NYSPHSAA girls basketball brackets
  • 2015 NYSPHSAA boys hockey brackets
  • N.Y. wrestling championships (PDF): Div. I | Div. II
  • N.Y. indoor track championships: Boys | Girls


  •    Frederick Douglass beat Francis Lewis 53-36 in the other semifinal.

       Indoor track: Two New York sophomore girls completed an outstanding weekend in the New Balance Nationals Indoor Championships at The Armory.

       Sammy Watson of Rush-Henrietta, part of a national-record girls sprint medley relay on Saturday, kicked hard to win the 800 meters Sunday in 2:08.13. She beat Ersula Farrow of Oak Park, Mich., by a quarter of a second.

       Suffern's Kamryn McIntosh, part of a championship-winning distance medley on Friday and a second-place finish in the sprint medley, won the 400 in :54.57, edging Layla White of North Carolina by .03 seconds.

       Rai Benjamin of Mount Vernon won the boys 400 as one of the meet's most anticipated races ended in the strangest of fashions, per this recap from Dyestat.com:

       "... a finish that no one saw coming, least of all the young woman who was holding the finish tape and standing in the wrong place.

       "Taylor McLaughlin overtook Rai Benjamin in the final 40 meters and then with no way to maneuver out of the way, barrelled into the unfortunate holder of that tape. The collision was awful and caused a pile up that snared Benjamin, Izaiah Brown and Josephus Lyles.

       "McLaughlin, timed in 46.50, was later disqualified for cutting inside before reaching the cones at the end of the second turn. But his primary concern was that the person he ran over was OK.

       "'She didn't move and you saw what happened, I ran right into her,' McLaughlin said. 'I'm fine. I was worried about her because I'm a big guy.'"

       Playing-field safety issue resurfaces: USA Today rolled out a 2,500-word story Monday saying its analysis found that lead levels high enough to potentially harm children have been found in artificial turf used at thousands of schools, playgrounds and day-care centers across the country.

       A major point in the story is that the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Environmental Protection Agency continue to regard the surfaces as safe, but as I scanned the story I didn't see anything off the top of my head that moved the story beyond what NBC News reported in an October 2014 story, though the level of detail in examining various reports is substantial.

       You can take a look at the USA Today story to understand why artificial turf continues to concern many people.


      
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